In this Emerging Headliner interview powered by JBL, singer, songwriter and producer Chris Walton reveals the thoughts that keep him up at night, why he doesn’t want to sound perfect, why he’s embracing vulnerability and shares his home studio process.
Chris Walton wanted to be a jingle writer. “I latched on to the idea that I wanted to write really short, catchy songs used in adverts, TV and movies,” recalls the Boston-based singer, songwriter and producer from his home.
“I loved the O'Reilly jingle!” he enthuses, grabbing his guitar and launching into, “O-o-o-o O'Reilly… Auto Parts. Ow!’” He’s not the only one – check the comments under the jingle’s YouTube video.
“It's actually such a funny story because people think that what made me want to do music would be super deep, like I was listening to Tchaikovsky and that I had this epiphany that I wanted to be the next him. And it's not – it's a commercial that I saw on TV when I was 13,” he laughs.
“It wasn't until I got to Berkeley that I realised that that career path isn't as fruitful as it used to be. Mainly due to most of the time, with commercials and placements they're looking for songs that people already recognise, not newer songs.”
Just as well he had a change of heart, as today, Walton is known for his blissed-out blend of classic soul, jazz and funk with a chilled, modern flair, and for writing intimate, introspective love songs about the types of thoughts that keep him up at night.
He’s speaking to Headliner on the tailend of his US tour, where he’s enjoying a rare 24 hours at home in between shows.